Tag: word origins

Video: what is the origin of the word ‘penguin’?

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Video: how did the flea market and computer bug get their names?

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double consonants

Double trouble (or accommodating doubled consonants in English)

The presence of doubled consonants in certain words can present a great challenge for students attempting to get to grips with English spelling. The sound of a word will often give an idea of whether a single letter or a double is required, but it is quite possible for two words to sound alike and […]

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What is the origin of silhouette, nicotine and leotard?

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Husky is a notable contraction word.

6 hidden contraction words

We’re all familiar with contractions. Plenty are signalled by an apostrophe and others don’t hide their origins with any notable ingenuity – such as I’m, you’re, they’ll etc. But some everyday words have dispensed with markers of their shortenings, to the extent that you may well not have realized that they ever started as anything […]

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church

Words you learn at the vicarage

I share something in common with Jane Austen, Tori Amos, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Vincent van Gogh: I am the child of a clergyman. Growing up in a Church of England vicarage has given me insights to faith, diplomacy, and how best to run a coffee morning – but it’s also a window into a very […]

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Check out our list of interjections!

A list of interjections you should be using

Perhaps the wildest of all the parts of speech, the interjection accounts for a fun swath of the English language, including curse words, expressions of joy, greetings, and even pseudo-magical incantations. Some of them you’ve probably heard before, but others will probably be new. Before you know it – bada bing! – we might be hearing these terms everywhere.

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Do you know your computer etymology? How about your email etymology? You might be surprised at how old these words are.

Words that are older than you think, Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.  In previous posts, we’ve revealed the surprisingly long histories of LOL, hip-hop, fanboy, unlike, flash mob, and more. With the recent discovery that twerk dates back as far as 1820, we’ve taken another look at words which are older than you think – even if the […]

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